The New MacBooks are here…


… and they have a black one too! I could run down the details, but MacWorld has done a good job with that in their story, including some comments by Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

A couple of items of interest to me are… The new MacBook has a “glossy” display. I’ve seen these on some budget PC laptops, and I did not like it at all. The screens have a lot of reflection and glare, and make it difficult to work in anything but a dark room. I hope Apple has done a better job with these. I’ll reserve judgement until I see one for myself.

Apple chose NOT to make black available for all models. If you want the black one, expect to pay at least $400 more than the base model, and $200 more than an almost identical white one. Ummm… that seems kind of crappy to me. Are they going to carry this pricing structure over to the next iPod… black will cost more than white?

Also of note… there will be no 12″ Macbook Pro, to replace the 12″ Powerbook. Apple is dropping that size for the higher end laptop to draw a clearer distinction between the two models.

When I first started writing this post, I was very excited by this announcement. But now, only minutes later, I have a bad taste in my mouth. The more I think about the higher price for the black one, the more angry it makes me. Hey Apple, WTF!

Links: Apple MacBook | Macworld Article

9 thoughts on “The New MacBooks are here…”

  1. I haven’t been this disappointed in a long time. I’ve been waiting and waiting for a 12″ macbook pro and now I’m not going to get one. Apple had really been tempting me to get my first mac but now I don’t think I’ll be getting one anytime soon.

    Firstly, I want a small laptop so I can carry it around as easily as possible. I don’t drive so I either walk or cycle places and I want to keep the weight to a minimum. Secondly, I would prefer a bit of extra power if possible. Thirdly, I don’t like the speakers either side of the keyboard on the bigger models. Fourthly, I’m not a massive fan of the new colours of macbook. I much prefer the silver colour. As you can see, neither of the ranges meet my needs and desires.

    All I can say to Apple is, you’re losing a customer!

  2. I would never buy the black macbook, mainly because I like my powerbook and it’s style too much to go back to plastic, but I feel that this is the start of a whole new change in Apple’s laptops. The intel chip is going to allow a lot more options in case changes. I’m excited to see what comes next.

  3. I’m not too sad about the price bump for the black MacBooks.
    Note that they also have 20gb more hard drive space.
    That’s $200 right there.

    And Frank, have you ever owned an iBook or a Powerbook in the past? Powerbooks have had the speakers on the sides of the keyboards from the beginning of the metallic era. Those machines are sweet, fast, incredibly usable and the speakers are very good (for what they are). Of course, you’re not going to have any Bose quality sound coming out of them … but they are good for personal music and movies as well as presentations.

    Go to a store and play with them. The power is there. Enh, they’re a tick heavier than maybe a tiny Sony Vaio but I’ve tossed a 17in Powerbook in a messenger bag with no problem and biked around town with it.

    I’m happy Apple didn’t reintroduce the crazy flavored laptops that were available years ago. The classy white and black (and metallic) lines keep the products within Apple’s offerings closely tied visually.

    I’m all over that black MacBook as soon as the wife approves the transaction. Too bad it’ll make me update my 3rd generation iPod to a new black video iPod as well.

  4. “…they also have 20gb more hard drive space. That’s $200 right there”

    Actually, it’s not. If you start with the 2.0 GHz white MacBook, and upgrade the hard drive to 80GB, you’ll have the exact same machine as the black one… BUT, Apple only charges you $50 for the upgrade. So, they are charging you $150 for the black paint. That’s just wrong! They should have offered black and white on all the models, without the extra charge… in my humble opinion.

  5. Ross, I’ve never owned anything Apple in the past but I am studying Computer Science at university and I want to broaden my horizons (hence why I don’t want a Dell laptop for example). A laptop would also be very handy for me as well in terms of taking it in to uni (you can never get a computer in the library and I don’t have all my files on there from home) and taking it home on weekends. If I did get a laptop my main uses would be programming, internet and the odd bit of gaming.

    My only experience with Apple laptops is my mums iBook which she got from work. I noticed the bigger Powerbooks had speakers either side which was one of the things which put me off getting a bigger screen. I then saw them in several different stores and that only reinforced what I thought before.

    I know looks aren’t everything but I do like to try and get a good balance between looks, performance and value. To me that was the 12″ Powerbook. Also, that’s one of the reasons people love apple products, they just look cool (generally).

    P.S. Paul, for some reason whenever I make a post in FireFox the page doesn’t seem to do much. The loading bar gets about half way and then stops. However, the comments have all seemed to be posted ok so far.

  6. Frank, ya… that’s a known issue… in that, I know it happens, but I don’t know why. I have the same problem in Safari. I can’t tell if it’s the site, or the host, or what. Someday it will be fixed ;)

  7. Ah … Point taken on the hard drives, Paul. I just compared Apples to Apples on the product page and didn’t dig deeper into the store. Yep. You’re right. $150 for black paint? And no red touch pad? Hm.

  8. I agree it’s strange about the pricing. The black edition is Â¥180,000 in Japan, while the white high end machine is Â¥160,000 — so about $200 difference. Exactly the same as the US of course, the only spec difference is the 80GB HD on the black model, which would be a Â¥6,000 upgrade on the white model. For me it’s slightly ironic that Apple’s done this because I was yesterday writing something about Sony’s pricing of the PS3. Clearly Sony is concerned that the PS3 will be so expensive, so they’re planning to sell a hugely stripped down model at a slightly reduced price, just to try to justify the higher price what is actually the standard model. Sony’s marketing history is full of such tricks and it’s interesting to me how other firms have caught on.
    Of course, what Apple has done with the MacBooks is a little different, but it’s still a bit underhand. Experience suggests that if there’s no true reason for the the black model to require a higher price other than marketing greed, it’s a policy that will most certainly backfire.

  9. I’m mostly ticked about the lack of a 12″ Pro. I love my 12″ PowerBook, and it’s been a real champ for me. But the new 13″ MacBooks are almost as heavy as my old 14″ Pismo — F. that noise!

    I’ll be wearing my frowny face and holding on to my dollars until Apple gives me my 12″ MacBook Pro.

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